Roush Fenway Racing announced that 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will compete for the team full-time in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition beginning in 2013, while Matt Kenseth and Roush Fenway will part ways at the conclusion of the 2012 season. "Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has more than proved his abilities on the race track," said team co-owner Jack Roush. "We feel that he is not only a key piece of our team's future, but a key piece of the future of the sport. Roush Fenway is an organization with a wonderful past and present, as well as an extremely promising future, and I can't think of a better candidate than Ricky to usher in the next era of success for the team. Of course, I'd like to thank Matt Kenseth for his many years of loyal service," added Roush. "Matt has been an integral part of this organization for well over a decade, and we are extremely appreciative of his accomplishments and contributions to the team, and will always consider him a part of the Roush Fenway family.
-Matt Kenseth declined to discuss his future with Roush Fenway Racing before Sunday's race at Sonoma, but
Kenseth's name this weekend was linked to both Joe Gibbs Racing, a Toyota team, and Penske Racing, which is moving from Dodge to Ford in 2013. Kenseth is a longtime Ford driver. JGR team president J.D. Gibbs declined to discuss any possible negotiations with Kenseth. JGR not only has room for expansion to a fourth car, but Joey Logano's status as driver of the #20 is currently unresolved. Logano is in the final year of his contract. "I'm not allowed to talk," he said.
Roger Penske was not at Sunday's race, but senior vice president of Penske Corp., Bud Denker said the team is not talking to Kenseth and is content with AJ Allmendinger in the #22. "Our expectations are that AJ will be in the car and Todd (Gordon) will be the crew chief next year," Denker said. "So we are not talking to Matt, that's confirmed." The Penske move to Ford has led to talk the organization could be a potential home for Nationwide Series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. or 2011 Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne, who are both in long-term contracts with Roush but are stymied because of sponsorship woes